Sassuolo-Milan Preview: Sweet Memories

Just about two years ago, on a May evening in Emilia-Romagna, Milan defeated Sassuolo 3-0 to win their 19th Scudetto. Now Milan return to the Mapei Stadium in second place on the table, while Sassuolo languish second from the bottom. Many of the players from that squad have moved on, but a number of them are still here. And the infamous table-flipping, cigar-smoking leader of that Scudetto campaign now works for RedBird as an advisor. While Pioli will need to focus on winning this match to shore up the team's mentality before the Europa League Quarterfinals second leg on Thursday, I am sure that returning to this stadium will bring back sweet memories. 

Fond memories, but Milan need to win again, even if only for second best.

Ballardini sees his team in the bottom of the pile of teams fighting to avoid relegation, with Sassuolo on 25 points. Their most recent match was a 2-2 draw with bottom of the table Salernitana last week. For that match, Ballardini lined up: Consigli; Toljan, Erlić, Ferrari, Doig; Boloca, Thorsvedt; Defrel, Bajrami, Laurienté; and Pinamonti. The big miss for Sassuolo, of course, is the Milan-killer, Berardi, who is out for the rest of the season. Not that we are safe from curses, after all, they have the legendary former Milan winger Samu Castillejo in their squad, who lifted that Scudetto with us in 2022. But at least we know Berardi will not score on us, his favorite target. Ballardini is also likely to miss Pedersen, whose fitness is still in doubt as of this writing.

Milan's legendary number 7 could come back and haunt us.

Pioli has a new player missing this one, as Maignan will not make the trip to Emilia-Romagna, as he is reported to be suffering from fatigue. Sportiello will play in goal, and with Mirante still mysteriously injured/missing in action, Nava is called up, as is Raveyre, who played 90 minutes for the Primavera on Saturday in their 3-2 victory over Empoli. Also missing will be Kalulu and Pobega, who are both still injured. However, Tomori will rejoin the squad after serving his one match Euorpa League suspension on Thursday. Pioli is expected to rotate heavily, with the squad having played less than 48 hours before kickoff.

Two definite changes at the back from Thursday.

This will be an important one for Milan to win, after the referee snapped Milan's seven game winning streak on Thursday against Roma, in spite of a  3-0 win over Lecce last week. However, Sassuolo are in that desperate part of the season where every point counts toward their Serie A future. And their squad is better than their position on the table. They have certainly been known to hurt Milan before, so Milan cannot take anything for granted. Pioli often over-rotates, but Thursday's disappointment aside, Milan have been very strong since January, beginning with a 1-0 win over Sassuolo at the San Siro,  and have been able to count on their squad depth for results. So let's hope that Milan are prepared to go to the Mapei and make even more sweet memories.

This post inspired by the music of Mazzy Star's "Fade Into You"

Our next match is 
Serie A Week 32
Sassuolo vs. Milan
Sunday, April 14, 2024 • 15:00 CEST (9am EDT)
In the U.S., you can use a VPN to access a Serie A provider elsewhere
For example, sign up for BeIN Sports in Australia or SuperSport in South Africa,
they both use the World Feed commentary for Serie A, which is fantastic
(*and they also do not sponsor Inter's kits)

Sassuolo-Milan Preview: Sweet Memories Sassuolo-Milan Preview: Sweet Memories Reviewed by Elaine on 10:40 PM Rating: 5
Powered by Blogger.